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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sewing Project - How To Sew A Patternless Easy Elegant Caftan

Sewing Project - Caftans

Sewing Friends:

Don't you just love the glamourous look of an elegant caftan? Whether you wear them in the privacy of your home or when you are entertaining dinner guests or attending a lavish party or going to the beach or pool, caftans can be worn for almost any occasion.

Caftans can be any length, but usually they are just above floor length.

Sew them out of any fabric that isn't too stiff. Embroidered sheers, organzas, challis, soft cottons, silks, etc. are all good choices. How about using that beautiful batik you bought and haven't made up yet?

You can use either 36 or 45 inch wide fabric. The wider fabric will create longer sleeves.

How to cut your caftan
  • Measure the distance from your shoulder to the floor
  • Multiply that number by two.
  • Fold the fabric evenly
  • The folded edge will be the shoulder
  • Cut out the neckline (use any basic pattern for a guide front and back)
  • Cut an 8 inch slit down the center front
  • Cut narrow bias binding to go around the neckline (1-1/4 inch wide bias works well)

How to sew your caftan

  • Bind the neck edge including the 8 inch slit down the center front with the narrow bias binding
  • Measure down from the shoulder fold about 10 inches and mark on both sides. This will be the openings for your arms.
  • Sew the side seams from the bottom up to this mark.
  • You may decide that you want slits on either side of the caftan. If so, mark where you want the slit to end and stitch the side seam in between the slit and the arm opening.
  • Press and stitch the hem in the arm openings and the slits.
  • Press and stitch the bottom hem.
Decorate your caftan

You may decide to do some decorative stitching or embroidery up the slits and around the neckline or you can add some fancy decorative trim.

Make a belt for your caftan

If you would like a belt to wear with the caftan, try a drapery cord with tassels on the ends or make a "Magic Sash" like the one in my Sewing Project Tips Sewing Blog.

Another idea is to make a few bias tubes and braid them into a belt to fit around the waist and let the individual tubes hang free on both ends . . .perhaps adding a large bead on the very ends of the tubes.

You are the designer. Have fun designing your caftan.

This is a fun beginner sewing project. Try it! Use up some of that fabric in your stash that you can't decide what to do with it. Give caftans as gifts! Who wouldn't love lounging around in an elegant caftan! No one needs to know that it took so little time and effort to make such a glamourous garment.

To Your Sewing Success,


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Sewing Project - Caftans

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